Fluminense were recently crowned Copa Libertadores Champions. The Brazilian side beat Boca Juniors of Argentina 2-1 after 120 minutes of fabulously tense football that saw red cards for both teams in extra time.
The winners received the trophy and a cheque for $21 million after emerging victorious in the biggest game in the South American football calendar. Legacy, of course, has now been assured, but as well as writing themselves into the history books this Fluminense side have also guaranteed a wave of financial rewards for the club.
Though wealthy in the entire context of South American football; Fluminense have had their financial issues in recent years and if they want to be able to compete with Brazilian giants like Flamengo and Palmeiras for the foreseeable future then any cash injection is a vital boost.
The reality is that the Copa Libertadores title earnings will directly and indirectly amount to much more than just $21 million. It’s the first time the club have won the coveted trophy and so they have made headlines globally, beating Boca and playing fantastic football in the process won’t have hindered that positive marketing.
The title also means that Fluminense will compete in this year’s Club World Cup. The 2023 edition of the tournament will see them take on the likes of Manchester City and Al Ahly in Saudi Arabia this December. Fluminense will receive between $2-3 million for participating in the competition and if they can overcome the odds and win it they would take home another $5 million.
As Copa Libertadores winners Fluminense will also take part in the ‘Recopa’ in 2024. The South American Super Cup will be played between ‘Flu’ and LDU Quito, the Ecuadorian side who won the 2023 Copa Sudamericana. The losers of this match will take home $1 million and the winners will earn double.
The 2025 Club World Cup will take on a new format. An expanded competition to take place in the summer amongst 32 of the world’s very best clubs. Fluminense have now qualified for that tournament because they are the champions of South America. Though prize money has not yet been determined they won’t be leaving that tournament empty handed. It is expected to be a big money spectacle.
Lionel Messi is usually followed by money and he might well be there in 2025, amongst others. He will certainly be present when CONMEBOL and CONCACAF join forces next season though. That might yet be in the form of an expanded Copa Libertadores that includes teams from North America, but at the very least will involve the ‘Copa Interamericana.’
This small ‘Super Cup style’ tournament including some champions from North and South America is set to take place in 2024 with Fluminense and Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami sharing the stage. The prize money is yet to be determined.
With all of the above information it’s easy to see how Fluminense’s Copa Libertadores earnings will likely move from $21 million to over $30 million. This could double or triple indirectly too.
Firstly, the club has a lot more bargaining power for sponsorships now. They will play on the world stage twice in the next three years for a start and so can negotiate deals to improve their income that way. Second, the likes of André, Nino, John Kennedy and other star men of this year’s Copa Libertadores campaign look like they may have played their way to big money moves away from the club; meaning more serious income for Fluminense.
The direct and indirect effects of becoming 2023 Copa Libertadores Champions show that Fluminense will be bringing in a lot more than just tournament prize money, and it also shows how on and off-field success tends to go hand in hand. If the club can use that money wisely they may be a force for years to come.